[WATCH] Barn owls set to return to the Maltese wild, parliamentary secretary says

After five NGOs received financial aid to promote the conservation of wild birds, Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights Clint Camilleri inaugurated the Barn Owl reintroduction project

Barn owls are being kept in large aviaries in Buskett, with one pair already giving birth to chicks
Barn owls are being kept in large aviaries in Buskett, with one pair already giving birth to chicks
(Video: FKNK)

The barn owl (barbaġann) is set to return to the Maltese wild as Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights, Clint Camilleri inauguarated the Barn Owl Re-Introduction project.

The barn owl was driven to extinction from Malta, with the last recorded breeding pair in the wild harking back to the early 1980s.

Now, five NGOs have obtained financial aid amounting to €106,188 in a bid to promote the conservation of wild birds, Camilleri inaugurated the project, through which a number of barn owls are being bred at Razzett tal-Baghal in Buskett where the inauguration took place earlier today.

"This project will re-establish the barn owl population in the wild in both Malta and Gozo after breeds will be released in the natural environment," Camilleri said, adding that this was a technique based on successful practice in the United Kingdom.

Camilleri was pleased to say these kinds of schemes were directly aiding several NGOs in implementing their own projects. This particular project was the brainchild of Federazzjoni Kaccaturi Nassaba Konservazzjonisti (FKNK).

The owls will hunt primarily for mice in Buskett and for this reason, the placing of rodenticide has been stopped in the woodland because it will be harmful for the birds if they consumed poisoned mice.

The project coordinator, Ray Cordina, announced that one particular pair of barn owls had already given birth to chicks.

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